I have had my Dropbox folder on an SD of my Surface for the last couple of years with no problems. Today, it gives an error:

"Dropbox will stop syncing unless you move it to a drive with a supported file system. The Dropbox folder will need to be on NTFS-formatted hard drive"

Now, I don't have another hard drive with the capacity needed for my Dropbox folder. Plus, it will take hours to let the Dropbox folder download to a new hard drive.

My question: Is there anyway to make Windows think that my SD is NTFS-formatted, but without actually formatting it and losing its data.


  • Why would your SSD not be NTFS-formatted? I feel like something is missing from your question. – Daniel B Aug 16 '18 at 8:47
  • Are you talking about the internally fitted SSD, or an SD card that you have fitted yourself? – Mokubai Aug 16 '18 at 8:57
  • I bought it from Amazon. – D_B Aug 16 '18 at 8:58

The answer to the question as you have asked it is: "No it is not possible"

Moreover dropbox relies on extended attributes (X-attrs) so it needs one of the modern filesystems like ext4 or NTFS. I am certain you cannot bypass that check. And you should not as you risk to loose functionality.

What you can do to solve your problem is convert your FAT to NTFS. This can be done (theoretically) without loss of data, though backup is still recommended:

  • Find the letter of drive you want to convert. Open File Explorer, and in the left pane, look for the drive under "This PC" or "Computer."

  • Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box.

  • Enter cmd to open the command prompt window.

  • At the command line prompt, type convert drive: /fs:ntfs. For example, if the letter of the drive you want to convert is e, you would type convert e: /fs:ntfs

Source: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/convert-a-fat-or-fat32-drive-to-ntfs-fa1d020b-afbc-466f-8454-6b31fbe89f7a


Following an update from OP, the original filesystem is exFAT. In this case it is not possible to convert, the only option is to backup and re-format. Good luck


Following yet another update from OP, it turns out that the drive is not actually SSD as initally stated but rather an SD card... In this case best advice is to avoid keeping your dropbox folder on SD card and move it to more robust storage (HDD or SDD). While it is possible to have NTFS filesystem on SD card and it will work, it will not perform very well and it will quickly wear out flash memory of the card. Worth taking a look at: https://superuser.com/a/92436/281154

Some additional reading: https://www.howtogeek.com/177529/htg-explains-why-are-removable-drives-still-using-fat32-instead-of-ntfs/

  • Thanks for the reply. I did as you said, but it says "CONVERT is not available for EXFAT drives". I have no idea what it means. – D_B Aug 16 '18 at 8:54
  • 1
    You should update your question accordingly, stating that your filesystem is exFAT – Art Gertner Aug 16 '18 at 8:59

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